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Uncluttering Your Gmail

Comments Off on Uncluttering Your Gmail Written on November 22nd, 2010 by
Categories: Business, Email, Google Apps

Many people find the Google Apps mail interface a bit cluttered at first.  There are quick and easy ways to customize the view settings for your mail to make it less cluttered.  The two changes I recommend are:

1. Remove Web Clips

2. Remove Snippets

Here’s a picture of how Google Apps/Gmail looks at first with these options enabled:

Gmail Default View

After we turns these off, we get a cleaner view, like this:

A Cleaner Google Docs

Making these changes is simple.  Just click on the “Settings” link in the top right hand corner of your mail.  This will take you to the general tab of your settings.  Scroll down until you see snippets, and click the radio button for “No Snippets.”  Here’s what it looks like.

Gmail Disable Snippets

After changing this option scroll down and click the “Save Changes” button.

To turn off Web Clips, go back into Settings, and click the tab for “Web Clips.”  In this tab uncheck the box at the top for “Show my web clips above the Inbox.”  You don’t have to click any save button on this page.  Here’s what it looks like.

Gmail Disable Web Clips

Happy Gmaling!

Managing Spam with Multiple Email Addresses

Comments Off on Managing Spam with Multiple Email Addresses Written on October 10th, 2010 by
Categories: Email, Microsoft Outlook, Small Business, Spam Management, Tips and Tricks

Managing Spam with Multiple=

Every day our time is wasted by unsolicited email.  Spam filters help us separate out the stuff we definitely don’t want to be bothered with.  They fall short, however, in separating the important stuff from the maybe-I’ll-read-it-later materials.

Here is where we can utilize multiple email addresses to save time.  When you shop online, sign up to receive information about a product or service, join a bulletin board — give them a secondary address.  Keep private the email address you print on your business cards and use to collaborate with colleges, clients, and friends.  Many people can tell you from experience that once some online marketers get a hold of your email, they will never give up sending you spam and they wont stop selling your email address to other marketers either.

Executive Summary
  • Use a secondary email address for online activities such as shopping and forums.
  • In office environments create departmental email addresses which can be shared by multiple employees for increased productivity and quick business data access.
  • Use a program such as Microsoft Outlook to make comprehensive view of multiple email accounts quick and simple.

One you have the really important email separated out from messages containing sales receipts and product updates, you can work more efficiently.  If you are having a busy day, you can stay focused on the inbox that matters, and when you need to find that receipt or are wondering if some company or sales person out there has sent you a discount offer, give your second inbox a look.

If you are a small business this comes with added benefits — You can share such an inbox with other employees. I recommend setting up an email account such as purchasing@yourdomain.com and adding this inbox to Outlook for everyone in the company with the ability to spend money on its behalf. This provides you with a single email inbox where you know you can find every invoice from all of our major vendors, for example. How much did that new inventory item one of your employees just purchased cost? A quick search for the part number gives you the a list of every time this item was ordered, what it cost, and even what the invoice number was.

A great way to manage two email accounts to use software such as Microsoft Outlook, and set them up as separate inboxes that you can conveniently click between.

Organizing your email is a simple and effective way to improve productivity. If you would like assistance from a pro on best managing your email call 914-562-1800.

Driving Traffic to your Local Business Web Site

Comments Off on Driving Traffic to your Local Business Web Site Written on July 23rd, 2010 by
Categories: Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Small Business

Local Business SearchFor small businesses online marketing can be intimidating.  You don’t just need a web site, you need it to appear in search engines results.  But the Internet is a big place, and how is your small business going to compete with national companies with massive budgets for online marketing?

I have good news for you.  Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are expanding their emphasis on local search results, delivering local business listing over national search results in more and more search results. 

You can take advantage of this by creating free local listing for your business with the major search engines at the following sites: Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local. It doesn’t take much time and it is definitely worth the effort. You should include a link to your web site in the listings of course if you have one.

You also need to know how many people are visiting your site, and see how that changes over time. Are you moving in the right direction? A great free way to do this is Google Analytics.

Finally, and here’s the big one, you should improve your web site to draw local search engine traffic, also called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Of course your site should be quality enough to convince visitors to pick up the phone, however that will have to be the subject of another post.

Search engine optimization firm David MIHM, Inc recently published the results of in-dept survey of SEO experts into what the most important factors are for driving visitors to your web site.

Here are the key takeways from the report:

  1. Get your Google and Yahoo local business listings up and keep them up to date.
  2. Keep your website and directory listings addresses in sync. One address and phone number everywhere.
  3. Enhance your local listing with customer reviews, photos, videos and the right keywords.
  4. Get inbound links. Each one is a vote for your site. Find your local business directories and add your listing. More is better.

The complete report can be found here.
A list of major online business directories can be found here.

Should I buy the extended warranty?

Comments Off on Should I buy the extended warranty? Written on July 15th, 2010 by
Categories: Computers and Electronics

Electronics Extended Warranty

As soon as stores started selling those “extended warranties” with electronics you could tell that something fishy was going on by how emphatically the store representatives would push them.  Before you let the next sales rep squeeze you for extra cash on services they bet you aren’t going to use, read this short article:

http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/15/earth-to-consumers-extended-warranties-are-a-bad-deal/

Evo vs iPhone 4

Comments Off on Evo vs iPhone 4 Written on July 1st, 2010 by
Categories: Computers and Electronics

Here is an excellent comparison between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Android Evo 4G:

I think it is worth adding that Sprint offers an unlimited data plan, while AT&T now charges per data usage.

iPhone 4 has Serious Reception Issue

Comments Off on iPhone 4 has Serious Reception Issue Written on July 1st, 2010 by
Categories: Computers and Electronics

Here is a great demonstration of the reception problem with the iPhone 4. Here at Geeks on Wheels we think this is recall worthy. How can Apple comfortably distribute this product to so many people?

How much should you spend on a new computer?

Comments Off on How much should you spend on a new computer? Written on June 30th, 2010 by
Categories: Computers and Electronics

 

New ComputersPeople frequently ask us for advice when purchasing a new computer. Without getting into all the technical details of technical issues, such as is Intel better than AMD, the best place to start is price. When shopping for a computer many people start by trying to find out how little they can spend.

What you should look for when purchasing a computer is value. You want to get the most bang for your buck. The cheapest computer, however, is not the best value.

Finding value in a computer is analogous to finding value in any other product. The best value is usually not the cheapest product, nor is it the most expensive. We want to shoot for the mid-rangle. For example, if you look at cars, between a Kia, a Honda, and a BMW, the best value is the Honda. It costs about 15% more than the Kia, but it requires less maintenance, lasts longer, and runs better than the Kia. The BMW costs twice as much as the Honda, but could it possibly be twice the car? This generally holds true for everything from chocolate to jewlery.

Prices for a normal use computer generally range between $425 and $1500, before purchasing software such as Microsoft Office. At the low end of this scale you are going to get a computer with unimpressive performance and as new software places increasing demands on your computer, you’ll find this computer quickly degrading in performance and with it your satisfaction will go too. Within just a couple years you’ll be thinking of replacing it. If you move up the scale towards a more mid-range computer, such as one for $650 to $700, you’ll be purchasing a machine that will be zippier, crisper, last twice as long, and keep you happier and more productive the whole way through.

The longevity of a computer is very important. There are more costs involved in getting a new computer than just the price of the computer. New computers require setup, your documents, photos and music all have to be moved from your old computer, and all adjusting the computer to get it to the point that it works efficiently and easily for you takes time. Whether at home or in the office, a new computer is a distraction. This is one of the major reasons that when buying a new computer you want to plan for value over the long term.

A computer that lasts longer saves you time and energy, and keeps you happier and more productive along the way.